Last week, a motorboat caught fire at Marina Village Yacht Harbor in Alameda and eventually sank. No one was hurt, but the fire and wreck caused a fuel spill that spread throughout the Oakland Estuary. Two sailboats on either side of the burning boat were also damaged. The cause of the fire is not yet known.
“The boat was completely engulfed,” said Alan Weaver of JK3 Yachts. “I don’t believe there was a breach in the hull,” Weaver added, speculating that the boat was likely sunk as the fire department saturated it with water to fight the flames. Weaver also said that the motorboat did not have any propane onboard; the cause of the blaze was likely electrical.
ABC7 News said last week that fuel from the burned and sunken boat “spread from Alameda all the way to the Oakland Estuary. An inspector with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife described the spill as ‘minor to moderate.’” That inspector said that visually, the spill was deceptive in appearance. “A little bit of oil on water goes a long way and it spreads out very quickly.”
Visually speaking, the sailboats on either side of the inferno were well singed. Weaver said that one of the boats was “cracked from the heat and had some singed sail covers.” Formerly the harbormaster at Marina Village for 23 years, Weaver said that a fire was always his “worst nightmare.”
While the cause of the fire is unknown, this incident serves as a reminder to take caution this winter, when many of us are running heaters on our boats.